"a touch in the game of tag," 1878; in baseball, 1904, from tag (n.2); the adjective in the pro-wrestling sense is recorded from 1955. Related: Tagged; tagging.
baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled-down version of the game, 1914, from soft + ball (n.1). The game itself so called from 1916, also known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy making (1894). Softball question, one that is easy to answer, is attested from 1976.
"something superlative," 1809, American English, agent noun from ding (v.). Baseball sense of "a home run" is by 1984.
also bull-pen, 1820, "pen or enclosure for bulls," from bull (n.1) + pen (n.2). Baseball sense "area where pitchers warm up before entering a game" is from 1915, perhaps from earlier slang meaning "temporary holding cell for prisoners" (common in American Civil War camps). Bullpen also was the name of a baseball-like game played in U.S. late 19c.
"action of striking with a bat," 1610s, verbal noun from bat (v.2). In cricket, from 1773. Baseball batting average is from 1867.
hollow, perforated plastic ball, registered trademark name (The Wiffle Ball Inc., Shelton, Connecticut, U.S.), claiming use from 1954. According to the company, designed in 1953 by David N. Mullany "in response to a lack of field space and numerous broken windows by his baseball-playing son," the name based on whiff (q.v.), baseball slang for a missed swing.
"very hard mineral" (crystalline aluminum oxide) used for grinding and polishing other gems, steel, etc., 1728, from Anglo-Indian, from Tamil (Dravidian) kurundam "ruby sapphire" (Sanskrit kuruvinda), which is of unknown origin. It is a dull or opaque variety of sapphire, amethyst, ruby, and topaz; in hardness it is next to diamond.